Best Time to Witness the Wildebeest Migration and Crossings in Kenya and Tanzania 2022
Being the 8th wonder of the world and one of the most breathtaking experiences in Africa, experiencing the wildebeest migration and crossings in Kenya and Tanzania should be on every tourist bucket list. However, it is quite easy to miss this spectacular event without the best guidance. But what is the best time to witness the wildebeest Migration and crossing in Kenya and Tanzania?
Migration and Crossings
The Wildebeest Migration is an annual migration of millions of Wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras, elands, antelopes, and other migratory species. This epic journey takes the Wildebeest from Kenya’s Masai Mara plains to Tanzania’s Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater’s edge before circling up and around clockwise. While rotating in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, the wildebeest migration is due to the Wildebeest’s response to the weather.
The migrating herds generally move after the rains and the growth of new grass, an instinct to find food and stay alive. Moving from Tanzania to Kenya, the vast herds cross the Grumeti and Mara rivers. During this crossing, be sure to experience thrilling actions as you watch the animals throw themselves into the swollen rivers and fight for their lives to get to the other end.
Whether you want to witness the beginning of this phenomenal event during the calving season in Ndutu, the terrific views of vast columns of Wildebeest moving north of Serengeti, or the thrilling action during the crossings, the wildebeest migration and crossings is one of the amazing things to experience during your safari.
Where and when to see the wildebeest migration
The exact timing of the Wildebeest Migration is completely dependent upon rainfall patterns, making it difficult to predict with any certainty. Particularly heavy or light rainfall might completely alter the movement of the massive herd. The uncertainty can make planning your safari an occasionally complicated affair.
However, as unpredictable as the Wildebeest can be, our team of experts has created a rough calendar that will guide you and provide an idea of where the action will be at any time of the year.
January to March: The Calving Season in Ndutu Region, Tanzania
The Migration is known to start from the South of Serengeti, the Ndutu Conservation area bordering the Ngorongoro crater. As each year begins, life also begins for the wildebeest animals on the fertile plains surrounding lake Ndutu, south of Serengeti national park. The calving season, which takes place from late January to around march, is a spectacular event in which over 8000 baby wildebeest are born every day.
More than 1,000,000 wildebeest will join the already vast herd and feast on the lush grass that springs up from volcanic soil well-watered by the rainy season for a few short months. The best time to visit the calving season is February and March of every year. During this time, the Wildebeest Calving season is at its peak, and you will witness a lot of activities as the calves attract many predators.
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April to May: The Green Season, in Central Serengeti
By this time of the year, the herd has grown in number, which means more mouths to feed. Due to the drier weather in south Serengeti, food becomes more scarce, forcing the herd to migrate north in search of food. On their way north, the Wildebeest make their first stop in the Seronera region, central of Serengeti.
The central Serengeti is popular for fantastic game viewing during this time of the year. As you watch the passing herd, there will be some action as big cats are also around in the area. April to May is called the green season and is the best time to plan your safari if you prefer less crowded areas. Additionally, prices are also a bit lower during this time.
May to mid-July: The Western Corridor in Grumeti, Tanzania
As the rain slowly ends in Tanzania, long lines of up to 40 kilometres of Wildebeest start their journey towards the west of Tanzania. As the calves are stronger now, the herds move a little quicker. Enjoy terrific views of millions of Wildebeest, together with zebras and other animals, and move their way up to reach Kenya.
The Sceneries are perfect for photographs, and hunting is something you can expect to see quite often. The Wildebeest will first arrive at the Grumeti, and large herds of Wildebeest start splitting into smaller ones in preparation for crossing the Grumeti River. Although the Mara crossing is the most well-known highlight of the Wildebeest, the Grumeti is also no less spectacular.
Additionally, being one of the least accessible parts of Serengeti National Park, Grumeti offers a private and intimate safari that you will always remember. From around May to mid-July is the best time to enjoy the views of the millions of wildebeest migration to Kenya.
By the end of July, you will unlikely see herds still grasping in Seronera, and the eastern side of the park and Serengeti stops for several months being the best place to spot the wildebeest migration.
July to August: River-Crossing Season, Northern Serengeti, Tanzania, and Maasai Mara, Kenya
The journey to Masai Mara, Kenya, is still on. During this time, the herd continues its movement north towards Masai Mara National park. Although there is no exact route on which the herd follows, tracking the herds as they meander slowly towards their next big obstacle is a fun experience that one should not miss. The Mara crossing is no doubt the best highlight of the wildebeest migration. Around August is considered the best time to be in Masai Mara ushers in spectacular views.
he animals cross from Serengeti national park to Maasai Mara national reserve through the crocodile-infested Mara River. With river crossings happening daily, expect wild images of Wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes fighting for their lives in the Mara river, full of crocodiles trying to cross to the other side.
September – November: The Masai Mara, Kenya
The Masai Mara is the best area to go on a safari from September to October. With over one million Wildebeest eating in Kenya from September, enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the national park and dramatic encounters with hungry predators who have awaited this opportunity for a year. River crossings can also happen on any day, whether stragglers are crossing into Kenya or bewildered Wildebeest crossing back over.
November – December: Back to Tanzania, Northern and Central Serengeti
During this time, Wildebeest start moving slowly back to Serengeti, and Masai Mara begins to quiet down once the herd has crossed the Mara River into Tanzania. Wildebeest herds will be predominantly present in the northern Serengeti, with smaller leading groups seen in the central Serengeti.
From November to December is considered a low season, which is the best time to plan a safari on a budget. Take advantage of the low season pricing and watch the Migration back to southern Serengeti as the herd prepares for the calving season.
The high season for Migration is from June to September. Due to the river crossings, this time provides the most dramatic scenery. Also, prices are greater at this time, and there are more tourists seeking to see the beauty. On the other hand, the low season is from November to December or April to May.
This is the optimum time for individuals who wish to save a few dollars or prefer less crowded regions. The wildebeest migration takes place all year, so no matter when you decide to go on a migration safari, there will always be a chance to watch and enjoy the incredible spectacle. To help you plan the best Wildebeest migration and Crossings reach out to our team of experts today.
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